Stavebnice QRP – part I.

There are many companies offering QRP devices resp. QRP stavebnice. We will list their list and lines in other parts of our talk…

Now let's try to get acquainted with the basic division so, to bring the world of QRP kits as close as possible (predominantly CW, but it is not the rule) supporters, beginners and finally everyone, who are interested in this part of our hobby. In our case, let's try to divide the QRP kit resp. equipment into the following basic groups:

Type 1: These devices can be called “Kits for experiments”. Here you will find such products as Pixie 2, Foxx-3 apod. firem Vectronics, SOP, Kanga Kits apod. The simplest TX is offered here, RX, direct mixing processes and their functions are usually very limited. Performances are around the boundaries of QRPP and QRP, i. 1-2W.

Type 2: These products can be called “Single-band miracles” (in the good sense of the word!). These are mainly represented by a large number of single-band and already mostly well-developed sets such as. SW+ firmy Small Wander Labs, NC-40 od Northern California, OHR-100 firmy Oak Hill Research apod. The features are more mature, usually TX / RX are integrated into tcvvry, often with QSK, RIT / XIT and often with better AGC circuits, etc.. The power is already around 2-5W and the receivers are almost always the concept of superheterodyne with one mixing equipped with NE612 or better TUF-1 DBM, etc..

Type 3: This type can be called “All-band sets” and their main advantage is the representation of all bands. They are already equipped with basic elements such as ALC, AGC, RIT/XIT, CW/SSB, profit regulation, performance, possibly change of filter bandwidth, etc.. Here is probably a classic representative of K2 and K1 from Elecraft or a relatively successful OHR-500 from Oak Hill Research as well.

The kits, of course, differ in many other ways. It is primarily the elaboration of a manual for assembly, concept of the device and its parameters, own PCB design and used components, box and controls etc.. But the most important are two parameters, which in connection with the previous one is evaluated by the most interested parties with the greatest emphasis: cena vs. usability in operation resp. parameters, t.j. “utility value” kits for our needs.

So if you decide to buy one of the kits, you probably have to decide first, whether it will be the simplest for experiments and experiments with, whether it will be a monoband, but which must be as usable as possible in operation after you assemble it and you would also like to continue it, for example. improved, delivered, improved, etc., or whether it should be the final product with all possible bands and the greatest possible comfort. But then you will definitely have to reach into your pocket much deeper! Prices are around these relations:

  • Type 1. 10 – 40 USD + postage.
  • Type 2. 60 – 150 USD + postage.
  • Type 3. 150 – 600 USD + postage.

You will often find a kit, which offers many more product features for less money than the competition. Here, too, there is competition between companies, mostly from the United States. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention not only to advertising slogans of the type “…the best performance at all” apod., but also for the wiring and components used.

In the next parts we will try to go through a few kits from individual categories and you will also get them (quite extensive) an overview of the offered kits and lines to the manufacturer.

Please address any questions to ok1rp@qsl.net or search www.qsl.net/ok1rp. I'm happy to answer questions, how to get some kits, or how to get some components such as TOKO coils for your built equipment, etc..

Petr OK1RP

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